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Foot and Ankle Care
December 9th 2008 -
By John Smerek, M.D. Orthopedic surgeons who specialize in foot and ankle care are trained to provide the most comprehensive treatment, encompassing the wide spectrum of conservative (non-operative) to surgical solutions. Many conditions of the foot and ankle – some of which cause pain, others which cause burning and aching – can be addressed best with proper shoe wear. It is easy to read through these top ten pearls of proper shoe wear… and you may find your way to a healthier foot!
 
Top 10 points of proper shoe fit
 
10. Sizes vary among shoe brands and styles. Don't select shoes by the size marked
inside the shoe. Judge the shoe by how it fits on your foot.
 
9. Select a shoe that conforms as nearly as possible to the shape of your foot.
 
8. Have your feet measured regularly. The size of your feet changes as you grow older.
 
7. Have BOTH feet measured. Most people have one foot larger than the other. Fit to the largest foot.
 
6. Fit at the end of the day when your feet are largest.
 
5. Stand during the fitting process and check that there is adequate space (3/8" to 1/2") for your longest toe at the end of each shoe.
 
4. Make sure the ball of your foot fits comfortably into the widest part (ball pocket) of the shoe. When the shoe is on your foot, you should be able to freely wiggle all of your toes.
 
3. Don't purchase shoes that feel too tight, expecting them to "stretch" to fit.
 
2. Your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe with a minimum amount of slippage.
 
1. Walk in the shoe to make sure it fits and feels right!
 
How to be in style and not in pain :The workplace today demands a lot from the foot and ankle. The foot pays a high price for fashion. If you must wear those uncomfortable shoes, follow these simple rules to make it less of an exercise in pain management. Tips for fashionable footwear • Wear a shorter heel. A two-inch heel causes fewer problems than a 4-inch heel. A shorter heel will give an elongated appearance to your leg if it is a thin stiletto type rather than a thick or chunky heel. • Try to save the use of your high-heeled shoes for functions where you will not be on your feet for extended periods of time – treat them like a limited-privilege accessory. • Take your designer shoes to a pedorthist (footwear specialist) to have them custom fit to your feet. They may be able to stretch the toe box to better accommodate your feet. • Try wearing a larger size than usual and insert heel cups into the backs for a better or more comfortable fit. • Wear open toe shoes instead of a similarly-styled shoe that causes discomfort in your toes. Partially open toe shoes have become more acceptable in many work environments, allowing you to further customize your shoes to your feet. • Remember that however appealing those high-heeled, high-fashion shoes are, your feet need to carry you around for a lifetime. Treat them kindly!
 
Finally, as we get older, we need to be serious about the right shoe wear. Following sensible, simple tips can prevent a fall that would definitely slow an active lifestyle. Footwear tips to avoid falls • Wear properly fitting, sturdy shoes that provide support. Be sure your shoes have a nonskid sole. • Avoid high heels and shoes with smooth, slick soles. If you have a comfortable shoe that has a slippery sole, ask a shoe repair shop to add textured strips to the sole. • Have your feet measured every time you purchase shoes. Your shoe size may change. • Do not wear shoes that have extra-thick soles. • Shoes with laces are safer than slip-ons, but keep the laces tied. Loose or long laces can cause you to fall. People unable to tie laces can select footwear with Velcroฎ fasteners. • Replace slippers that have stretched out of shape and are too loose. • If you have trouble putting on your shoes, use a long-handled shoehorn. • Women who cannot find athletic shoes that are wide enough for proper fit should shop in the men's shoe department: shoe manufacturers make men's shoes wider than women's shoes. • Never walk in your stocking feet. • Wear slippers with non-slip soles. • Keep toenails trimmed.
 
For more information about foot and ankle pain and treatment for common conditions, please feel free to visit the following web sites. www.methodistsports.com www.aofas.org